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Memories We Share – Part 2

Updated on June 24, 2012
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Dying alone, was never meant to be

Let me put my arms around you

Tell your fears and hopes to me

We have been together

For as long as I remember

And will be so now as we journey …

Down The Dying Path

My husband has COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – and has just this week been accepted for Hospice care. Medicare guidelines state that to be accepted, one must have a diagnosis of a terminal disease that is expected to end their lives within six months or less.

We have moved in together again, this time, into the living room, where your lift chair sits at just the right angle for you to watch old westerns and episodes of “Deadliest Catch” on television. This couch that was donated is one God send of many for me so that I have a place to lay close by your side instead of on the floor or that horrible love seat I had purchased that was such a bargain, a double recliner of sorts with a steel frame that hits right in my lower back or on my hip depending on which uncomfortable position I chose.

With your head elevated in your new recliner lift chair, courtesy of Hospice, you are able to breath a bit easier and as you are able to doze, I am able to relax and take some much needed time for myself so that I will be refreshed when you awake.

It doesn’t seem possible that we first moved in together 24 years ago this month of July in 1987. I was your mid-life crisis, your friends liked to claim, a strawberry blonde, 113 pound, five foot five bundle of energy, raw nerves and a shattered heart. You, with your eyes to get lost in and ready smile, were just what I needed although I sure wasn’t convinced of it at the time. Having come out of an extremely abusive relationship just a about a year before we met, remember how distrusting I was? I’m sure I don’t have to remind you because you paid for the hell I went though with another man for months after we started seeing each other and it wasn’t until that night we sat talking in your truck that I realized what I meant to you. You had a few drinks of Jack and Coke that night and as you reached toward me to caress my face, I flinched out of pure habit. You asked me if your drinking scared me that bad and if I thought you would ever hurt me. When I said I didn’t know, you quit from that night forward. It still took me three months or better to believe you had really quit.

Since we lived and worked together 24/7 you’d think after all of this time we would have run out of things to talk about. Far from true, though isn’t it? I can interrupt a favorite tv show fifteen times with my chatter to this day and you have learned that pretending to listen does not count. When I’m working at the computer and you wander in and sit down I’ve learned to close the screen and give you my complete attention as well. These things took time to learn and it has taken time to understand what is important to each of us. Self respect and mutual respect has become our number one priority, I believe. We have grown separately and together, now so intertwined that you don’t even have to say, “Hey, I’m getting a little hungry.” I sense it and produce not only food but what you were thinking of having most of the time. I love how I’ll be in the kitchen and you’ll come in and put your arm around my waist and tell me it smells good and you were just about to ask when we were going to eat.

It’s funny, no one from your past, certainly, and few now, would ever use the words tender or sensitive to describe you but you are. Even in the beginning of our relationship when we would go to the town you came from, where you hung out with your friends and had favorite places to haunt, you would sense my insecurity and hold my hand the entire time or slip your arm around my waist and pull me close to you. You loved showing me the shops you frequented looking for lost treasures and my history of junk shop exploring fit together so well. We had so many wonderful days building first your collection and then starting an antiques company together. And the auctions! We became such regulars and every other regular knew if one of us was bidding and quit, it wasn’t time to relax because the other was more than likely to pick it up again. We’d reward each other with hugs or a kiss when we won and wherever we went people looked for two, not one opponent.

So it is now. This whole death thing, we don’t fight it but we do keep it at bay as we squeeze out every last second of our time together. I am only a few feet away and even as your oxygen deprived body slips into frequent slumber, you open one eye to see where I am and how I am. You ask, knowing before the tears fall down my face and pouted lips say, “I don’t want to do this, I can’t, I don’t know how!”, that I am in need of your arms around me and you hold and comfort me and tell me we will learn how, together.

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  • Levertis Steele profile image

    Levertis Steele 5 years ago from Southern Clime

    I am speechless.

  • Lola1929 profile image

    Lola1929 5 years ago from Oregon

    Hi Pooh... how sweet your love is with your husband. Even as he prepares to leave this earth he expresses his love for you so sweetly and gently. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    Love from Lola

  • Poohgranma profile image
    Author

    Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

    I love you too brother and your presence means the world to me.

  • Micky Dee profile image

    Micky Dee 6 years ago

    I love you Pooh. God bless your man. God bless your family.

  • Poohgranma profile image
    Author

    Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

    Deborah K.,stars, Sharyn and SOH - what a joy it is in my life to have such beautiful souls read what I have written and share with me their thoughts and their caring. You are all true blessings in my life! Thank-you so very much.

  • SomewayOuttaHere profile image

    SomewayOuttaHere 6 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

    ...beautiful...and yes, I'm listening to the songs...

  • Sharyn's Slant profile image

    Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

    Hi Pooh,

    I enjoy your writing style so much. The place you are in your life is one that many of us fear. For you to share what you are going through is an amazing gift for all who stop by. I could only hope to have/feel the love that you share in your writing. I hope you don't mind if I send you a virtual HUG :)

    Sharyn

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Oh Pooh! I am so glad you had one another. So many people seek that love and never find it. I am so thrilled you know this is a temporary parting and you two will be together again in the amazing kingdom of God. We will indeed be here for you in your grief and healing journey. Email-call. I will give you my cell phone number.

    These writings, along with those songs, tell of a strong love and a woman who knows her own heart. It shows your faith too, precious.

  • stars439 profile image

    stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

    Dear Phoenix: You are both in my heart ,and prayers. I am praying to God for Gary to live a long life, and for you to get well because of your recent heart attack, but most of all I am praying for both of you to have some happiness , and joy in your lives because you have both been threw so much. God Bless You precious hearts.

  • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

    DeBorrah K Ogans 6 years ago

    Poohgranma, As you so beautifully shared "Self respect and mutual respect has become our number one priority.." Amazing....... The Love you share is a gift from the LORD! GOD BLESS YOU BOTH!

  • NotWiredThatWay profile image

    NotWiredThatWay 6 years ago from New York

    I'll remind you every chance I get. If you need anything, just say so. I'm sorry this is the way your story with your husband ends, but at least you're together and you get to say goodbye. How many never get that chance?

  • Poohgranma profile image
    Author

    Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

    This is a brief parting for those who believe in God. Please remind me of that repeatedly when he is gone, will you, Not Wired? I suspect I will have separate writings that need to pour out that are not as reasonable as these because the loss is tremendous, but OH, so has our life been. To know the love we've had, many never are so blessed and that does not escape me. If I had to choose again, knowing how this story seems to be ending, I would have chosen exactly the same. The rewards have been so many!

  • NotWiredThatWay profile image

    NotWiredThatWay 6 years ago from New York

    I'm listening Pooh. I can't stop the tears from flowing. I wish with all my heart it wasn't this way.

  • Poohgranma profile image
    Author

    Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

    Are you all listening to the songs that go with the story? Are the links large enough to see? Because they are an important part of our lives and these notes.

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    I'm glad you're keeping this journal because it will one day give you comfort.

    God bless both of you

  • daryl2007 profile image

    daryl2007 6 years ago

    This is amazing because you made a part 2 ...i can't wait to read it